Welcome to American Photo Colorizing .com’s photo blog. We colorize black & white photos for museums, media, multi-media, and families like yours. A visit to our website gets you started: http://www.americanphotocolorizing.com
The year is 1888. The “Sioux City Party” is traveling through Dakota Territory aboard a Tally-Ho Stage Coach. By November of this same year, the territory was divided into the U.S. states of North Dakota and South Dakota. Here, the party enjoys a rest stop at Hot Springs, an area frequented by the Sioux and Cheyenne, due to its refreshing warm waters. We don’t think of native tribes taking vacations – but, they often came here to relax, just as tourists do today.
The year is 1862. For Memorial Day Weekend 2015, we remember the fallen troops of both sides in the Battle of Antietam. This is one of the images American Photo Colorizing created for The History Channel TV presentation, “Blood & Glory – The Civil War In Color”.
This unique look at the American Civil War in full-color, featuring many highly-detailed colorized images by our own David Chrenko, was created by Executive Producer, Kevin Burns for Prometheus Entertainment. It’s no exaggeration to call this film the Breakthrough Moment for Historic Photo Colorizing.
The year is 1844. That’s right, we’re looking at a gent reading his morning newspaper 170 years ago. From the look in his eye, he may be a bit camera shy. Cameras were, after all, fairly new contraptions. Photography had just been introduced to America in 1839.
This is the era captured in print by Charles Dickens> His tale of Ebenezer Stooge, Jacob Barley, and Bob Scratchit had just been published the previous December. The hat resting proudly atop the gentleman’s head was known as a “stove pipe hat” or “topper”.
The year is 1888. Jacob Riis, who took the original photograph was a newspaperman, who used both his pen and the camera lens to expose the upper class to the plight of New York City’s huddled masses. He could often be found in the most deteriorated and dangerous slums in the city – particularly Mulberry Street. This photo, “Bandits Roost” was taken at 59 1/2 Mulberry.
Jacob, and his dedication to social reform, left an indelible impression on Theodore Roosevelt. The two became lifelong friends. I took liberties with Bandits Roost, adding a sunrise not in the original image. For my own tastes, the lighting and color really drive home the harshness of this alley. Jacob Riis was a very brave man to take the photo – and fortunate to live to talk about it.
Like Thomas Kincaid, one of my favorite parts of colorizing, is working with light. As you can see, I’ve taken artistic liberties by working-in a sunrise for dramatic effect.
The year is 1873. How cool is this picture! Lotta Crabtree was one of the wealthiest and most popular entertainers of the late-19th century. The actress, singer, and comedienne was known as “The Nation’s Darling”. And of all the photos I might have colorized – I decided on an elderly character 25 year-old Lotta played in “The Little Detective”.
Lotta’s career began in 1854 at age 6, performing at mining camps in Northern California. At the peak of her popularity in the 1870s and ’80s, Lotta was commanding $5,000 per week. Here’s a “Before” photo of Lotta sans scary old lady makeup, then a black & white/color comparison of her in character.
Since Lotta retired before the advent of motion pictures, we can only imagine her performance in The Little Detective – but her makeup artist certainly deserves an award.
To close out our American Photo Colorizing blog for today, here’s one more photo of Lotta Crabtree wearing her real face.